Baby in diaper sitting on a rough with a teddy bear on their side, also wearing a diaper.

Baby Disposable Hygiene market across Europe - where is it heading?

Contents of the article




Key factors to consider for 2020 

The European Baby Disposable Hygiene market is currently suffering negative value growth as a result of the maturity and saturation levels for traditional Open Diapers, coupled with an overall decline in birth rates.

A move towards premium products, a focus on convenience and the rise of Private Label products are the main trends driving change in the market towards the Baby Pants segment. 

Although the Baby Pants market is already well-established in the region, it continues getting traction, with positive forecasts by 2020[1] for Hungary (+12%), Portugal (+11%), Belgium (+5%), Romania (+4%), Norway (+4%), Czech Republic (+3%), Denmark (+3%) and UK (+3%). Consumers are on the hunt for ever-greater convenience but with an eye on sustainability, while retailers are seeking increasingly differentiated and premium products.

In 2006-2013, some countries such as Germany and the UK, have witnessed the growth of Private Label products. This has been driven by consumers’ focus on cost savings following the financial crisis, but the situation is not the same in the whole region, as France continue to show loyalty towards brands. 

Meanwhile, the rise of online channels means smaller, niche brands have found an easier route to market – providing potential new customers for manufacturers. With sustainable innovation becoming more scrutinized in many industries, e-commerce allows consumers searching for these options to find them with ease.

This fast-growing, changing landscape brings new opportunities as well as challenges.

Keep on reading our article for a deep dive!

Premium quality

Disposable Baby Pants, being usually associated with higher prices than Open Diapers, register a positive value growth in Europe due to the premium nature of the product. With costs of production on the rise, premiumization is poised to be the driving force for the industry. This trend is already having a positive influence in the UK, France and Spain, where Pant products have shown the best acceptance rates and Open Diapers the worst value loss in the region.

Although, premium quality is no longer a staple of established brands alone: Private Label products have consistently improved in quality and the public has taken note.


At a global level, the convenience theme is indissolubly connected to the Millennials one (the generation of people born between 1981-1996) and Europe is not an exception.

From the 2018 European Shopper Insight Survey by IRI, time saving, freedom to buy (time/place) and wider assortment of products are the main purchasing drivers for Young consumers.

   2018 European Shopper Insight Survey

Convenience is then becoming the keyword also in the Baby Disposable Hygiene market: Pants are perfect to save time, enjoying the benefit of wearability and this is reflected in 2018 consumption volumes, reaching 2,3 bn products, with an estimated growth rate of +2% CAGR 18-F20.

Moreover, in the last couple of years, European consumers are exposed to aggressive advertising campaigns sponsored by global multinationals towards Baby Pants adoption, leveraging on convenience also earlier than potty-training, especially for busy working parents (2-4 years).


As sustainability is becoming central in the public debate, consumers are giving increasing consideration to the “green issues”, with brands demonstrating to take steps to minimize their environmental impact forecasted to expand[2].

Online retailing is strongly influencing the Baby Disposable Hygiene market, providing the opportunity to search and find more products, not always available on supermarket shelves. A key factor behind this trend is the strengthening of e-commerce across Europe, with the UK leading the growth[3]

Although sustainability concerns are still a soft driver in the consumers’ decision making and therefore remain a market niche[4], online retailers, in gathering to the long-tail consumer, may appeal to their appetite for information, environmental sensibility, and focus on product performance and quality over affordability.


A closer look at BP6 Red

BP6 Red is the GDM Baby Pants line running at 600 ppm, designed for product quality and flexibility in terms of sizes, cost optimization and ease-of-use.
Thanks to the adoption of proven and reliable process solutions, BP6 Red delivers premium quality Baby Pants with Extra Thin Core featuring Permanent Channels for improved core integrity, no sagginess and no bulkiness. 

baby pants extra thin core

Extra Thin Core technology is one of the GDM solutions developed for embracing sustainability, in fact it allows to save up to 800 k€ per year: a 40% saving on core materials (fluff & SAP, compared to previous core formation process) thanks to an optimized mix and allocation featuring permanent channels construction and process stability with fixed standard deviation at 0,5.

Our new Core formation process also minimizes the use of air conditioning, which is reflected in remarkable savings in conditioning system sizing and their cost in use.

Moreover, the BP6 Red machine design focused on raw material control and tensioning enables production costs optimization with power consumption reduced up to 30%.

Choosing your right partner

Our Baby Pants portfolio of machines, including the BP6 Red, range from 600 ppm to 900 ppm and offer a range of solutions with flexibility in mind, allowing you to target different markets – whether that’s Private Label, branded or fast-growing niche retailers online.

Get in touch to find out how our Baby Pants machines can help to achieve your objectives in the European market.

[1]Source: Data refers to Europe, CAGR 2018-20. Source: Euromonitor 2019
[2]Source: GDM internal elaboration on Euromonitor data and marketing intelligence
[3]Source: GDM internal elaboration on Euromonitor data and marketing intelligence
[4]Source: Disposable Hygiene Europe
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